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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

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Senate Inquiry, Hearing Program 4th Nov 2011

Old 2nd Jul 2012, 07:35
  #381 (permalink)  
 
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Let's say an airline who had a rogue HOFO at the helm and for whom it took well over a year to push aside because he is a protected species and it took some pressure from CASA to get him pushed.
So what made this HOFO a rogue? Did the HOFO continually breach parts of the act, or maybe flew aircraft in a dangerous way, or expect employee pilots to bust W&B limits or F&D limits? Is this your opinion or, like in the Hempel inquest, generally known in the industry?

IMO this statement is a bigger safety risk than any other:

as a result pushed and punted the safety manager so that the investigations could be covered up?
The first sign of a company digging its own stinky Swiss cheese hole, is if the frontline Safety Manager/Officer is not happy, or are being replaced at regular intervals, or are missing several fingers and toes!
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Old 8th Jul 2012, 00:37
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Well Kelpie here's your chance to start nipping at the heels of Albo's circus, sounds like Senator X isn't about to let it go either!

AF447 report pledge must be honoured says Xenophon | Plane Talking

Question: Of the 22 recommendations that came from this inquiry how many have been embraced by Albo's lot?
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Old 8th Jul 2012, 02:09
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The thing that gets my goat is that airlines will now include specific training in high altitude stall recovery in their cyclics and then stand there saying to CASA and the federal Government "look what we've done".

Meanwhile so called doomsdayers have been saying (for some time) "you really should be employing experience over cheap cadets or very low hours candidates".

To CASA, the Government and the airlines: The game is up! hire experienced, well trained pilots or risk having one of your very own disasters in an Aussie registered aircraft, and God knows we've been close already.
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Old 8th Jul 2012, 11:26
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Well said GFR, fk I love that name! The trouble is most of the experienced drivers are going.."too hard" and just getting out of the game, soon there will just be the electronic wunderkids to punch holes through the air!
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Old 8th Jul 2012, 22:22
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wildsky's comment (ws hope you don't mind) in Ben's blog along with quotes from "Angelorange", "Oakape" and "Irish Steve" give a pretty good summation of this event:
The fact that the mainstream Australian media has largely ignored the AF447 report pretty much sums up our complacency about these things. I suspect if it were not for Senator Xenophon, you would have been an even lonelier voice.
I smiled at your comment about understatement – after all, one is only allowed to squeeze the bubble of public complacency about flight standards, certainly not to burst it! Perhaps that is also why there has been no noise from the pilot associations – the reality may be a little too confronting for the passengers who believe that every pilot is trained to the standards of Qantas even when they are only prepared to pay half of the bus fare to fly somewhere!
But back to the point.
The problem can be described by the folowing three selective quotes from contributors to the PPRuNe forum:
“Angelorange” said: “…We know there were many factors aggravating the situation but responsibility lies with the pilots, the airline, the manufacturer, the training system and the regulators. How much will be judged to have the greater share will depend on honesty, openness and sadly politics. I hope we can learn from the mistakes made and ensure a safer flying future by improving pilot selection, training, and mentoring, developing CRM/SMS so it is of real value and not a box ticking , white-wash exercise. I hope AF447 will lead to a clarifying of systems, improvment to the automation/pilot interface, designing controls that keep all the flight crew in the loop.”
“Oakape” said: ” How many recent accidents have been caused by problems with the AFCS, whether it be failure, reversion or simply the pilot being unable to engage it in the first place?
I can immediately think of four – Kenyan, Ethiopian, Turkish & Air France. There may be more.
There seems to be a growing number of pilots these days who can’t actually fly & when the autopilot decides to have a rest they are left in control of a large aluminium tube full of unsuspecting & trusting people, with no idea of what to do next. Is the licencing scandal in India not exclusive to that country & more widespread than people think?
Airline flying is supposed to be the pinnacle of aviation, only reached after many years of study, training, experience & perseverance. This does not seem to be the case anymore. People obviously believe that as little as 250 hours is enough.
Some of the comments here indicate that they believe that all airline pilots are created more or less equal. I have sat beside & behind enough of them to know that that is not the case. Some airline flight decks are populated by people who have no business being there. But they are cheap – just ask the accountants who put them there!
Some comments also indicate that people believe that the answer is more automation or a refinement in the current automation. I’m sorry, but I don’t agree. If you can’t tell when the automation is behaving incorrectly, or you have to rely totally on the aircraft to tell you what to do next with some verbal warning or instruction, then you have no place in an airline flight deck. Does anybody remember having to look ‘through’ the flight director on occasions & simply fly the aircraft?
The cost cutting mantra of modern business that has flowed into the airline industry is taking it’s toll. I have seen a drop in both quantity & quality of training in recent years. Reducing T & C’s is possibly reducing the quality of peolpe coming into the industry as well. Arguably we are no longer getting the brightest & best any more. The question is – is cost cutting winding back all the gains that have been made in aviation safety over the last 2 or 3 decades? Are we seeing the beginning of another era of increasing accident rates?
IMHO, the reaction by the PF on this flight to a loss of airspeed indication, followed by the A/P dropping out, is inexcusable. The decision by the more experienced PM to continue to let him fly after his initial reaction of excessively pitching up at that altitude in also inexcusable.
If we have a generation of pilots in flight decks who can’t actually fly, then it is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.”
and “Irish Steve” said: “… I am not sure it can be described as error in that they were not equipped to deal with the scenario they found themselves in. The reasons for that need to be laid bare and never allowed to happen again, and there is a clear requirement for significant extra training and awareness, but that’s post event hindsight, at the time, the relevant people saw nothing wrong with the way they were operating, and that may well be a false sense of security because the automation is usually so reliable.
If I had to put words to it, pilot inadequacy is closer to the mark than pilot error. They were never trained how to really fly the aircraft, they were trained to fly the automation, which is fine while all the systems work as designed, but if they don’t, this is the inevitable result. The reasons for that are much wider than just the pilots, they go right to the top, and fixing it will have to go to the top as well.”
I have quoted these folks because I believe that together they represent a fair summation of the problem – which is no less of a problem in our backyard as it may be elsewhere. I hope you and the good Senator get some coverage on this issue because the current Government in their “Alamo” moment and their insufferably arrogant replacements will not have the appetite to deal with the implications. David Learmount of Flight magazine refers to this accident report as a “wake-up call” – we absolutely cannot afford not to listen!
I believe the government/regulator and future government ignore this final report at their peril!

AF447 report pledge must be honoured says Xenophon | Plane Talking
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Old 10th Jul 2012, 01:04
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TICK TOCK

To CASA, the Government and the airlines: The game is up! hire experienced, well trained pilots or risk having one of your very own disasters in an Aussie registered aircraft, and God knows we've been close already.
Along with that you need a quality regulator. Currently we have an antiquated regulator run by geriatrics, it is poorly managed, dysfunctional, disconnected, and it's sole purpose is to protect it's Minister and protect the fat remuneration of it's executives.
These fools have even gone on another 'cost cutting exercise' and sliced almost 5 million dollars from it's travel budget for 2012/2013. Hooray did you holler, no more Montreal trips or legal conventions in New Zealand or Asia? Don't get too excited, they are cutting a lot of those funds from op surveillance tasks. Surveillance is the best method of gauging what industry is up to and sitting in an office reviewing Poohtube footage is not how you achieve safety improvements.

A tough regulator is not afraid to take the big boys on, head on, and not willing to allow its testicles to be squeezed by the Minister, Board and other lines of protection. This is your starting point to achieve a higher standard of safety in the industry. Every time one of the 'big guys' f*cks up CASA should be throwing a rope around the accountable persons neck in that airline and punish them in accordance with the civil aviation act. You only have to do it once and the indsutry CEO/COO rogues will quickly take their money and run for safer grounds. Until that starts to happen there will be absolutely no improvement in safety or minimisation of risk. It's time for CASA to stop playing hand puppets with farmhand chopper pilots and chasing operators who forget to tuck in their uniforms while on duty, it is time to asctually oversight safety.

If only James Reason realised that what he wrote was a crystal ball prediction of what will happen in Australia.
TICK TOCK

Last edited by gobbledock; 10th Jul 2012 at 01:07.
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Old 10th Jul 2012, 03:56
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I believe a group of very concerned aviation professionals should write to CASA, the minister and shadow minister for transport (C.c. to Senator Xenophon of course) directly asking them why there is no apparent move to make effective changes to the safety practices of the industry in light of all that has happened. This would have a twofold affect (a) CASA and the ministers would get the message (again) that there is a problem hibernating throughout the industry that is not going away. (b) Senator Xenophon would receive a top-up to the mandate from the industry to pursue this Air France report. Not saying theSenator needs one, but ongoing encouragement would not go astray.

CASA and the ministers cannot continue to ignore thisproblem; they have been warned! Continuing the “nothing to see here” line cannot protect them forever and of course, should the unthinkable happen, there will be a very clear history of failure to act on their part as our letters ofconcern cannot just vanish.
To quote Gobbledock: “TICK TOCK”

Last edited by gordonfvckingramsay; 10th Jul 2012 at 11:21.
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Old 10th Jul 2012, 06:20
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CASA and the ministers cannot continue to ignore this problem
Ah but they do, and will continue to do so until the smoking hole in the ground. Google "regulatory capture".

Here's a quote from wikipedia on the FAA "capture"
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

The Federal Aviation Administration has a dual-mandate both to promote aviation and to regulate its safety. A report by the Department of Transportation that found FAA managers had allowed Southwest Airlines to fly 46 airplanes in 2006 and 2007 that were overdue for safety inspections, ignoring concerns raised by inspectors. Audits of other airlines resulted in two airlines grounding hundreds of planes, causing thousands of flight cancellations.[29] The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee investigated the matter after two FAA whistleblowers, inspectors Charalambe "Bobby" Boutris and Douglas E. Peters, contacted them. Boutris said he attempted to ground Southwest after finding cracks in the fuselage, but was prevented by supervisors he said were friendly with the airline.[30] The committee subsequently held hearings in April 2008. James Oberstar, former chairman of the committee said its investigation uncovered a pattern of regulatory abuse and widespread regulatory lapses, allowing 117 aircraft to be operated commercially although not in compliance with FAA safety rules.[30] Oberstar said there was a "culture of coziness" between senior FAA officials and the airlines and "a systematic breakdown" in the FAA's culture that resulted in "malfeasance, bordering on corruption."[30]
On July 22, 2008, a bill was unanimously approved in the House to tighten regulations concerning airplane maintenance procedures, including the establishment of a whistleblower office and a two-year "cooling off" period that FAA inspectors or supervisors of inspectors must wait before they can work for those they regulated.[29] The bill also required rotation of principal maintenance inspectors and stipulated that the word "customer" properly applies to the flying public, not those entities regulated by the FAA. The FAA was directed to stop calling airlines its "customers".[29][note 2] Southwest was eventually fined $10.2 million for failing to inspect older planes for cracks, according to a 2004 FAA directive.[31]
In September 2009, the FAA administrator issued a directive mandating that the agency use the term "customers" only to refer to the flying public.[32] Prior to the deregulation of the US air industry, the Civil Aeronautics Board served to maintain an oligopoly of US airlines.[33][34]
In a June 2010 article on regulatory capture, the FAA was cited as an example of "old-style" regulatory capture, "in which the airline industry openly dictates to its regulators its governing rules, arranging for not only beneficial regulation but placing key people to head these regulators."[35]
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Old 10th Jul 2012, 11:18
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I fear you are right Enchilada .

However the fact that there is a very close analogue to CASA, that being the FAA, to serve as a precedent, should be a warning.

I don't claim to be legal genius by any means, but how can an organisation, whose core business is to ensure the safety and compliance of the industry choose not to act when necessary, be anything but culpable in the event of an accident? (Ministers included in that)

All the reasons are there staring them in the face and......nothing. I don't get it
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Old 10th Jul 2012, 12:22
  #390 (permalink)  
 
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I don't claim to be legal genius by any means, but how can an organisation, whose core business is to ensure the safety and compliance of the industry choose not to act when necessary, be anything but culpable in the event of an accident? (Ministers included in that)
Perhaps if this group (see link) get a bit of a following then pollies might start to listen:

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/4...authority.html

But a lot of it comes down to (as Bill Hamilton said) the "Mystique of Aviation Safety" i.e. Fort Fumble just baffle the mob in charge with piles of steaming pony pooh.

Question: Wonder how many VOCAAs there are on PPRuNe? That's when they start to take notice...when they run out of toes and fingers to count, "sheesh Tony jump in your superman suit mate, this lot have got more than ten members"....after all it's all about the boats..sorry votes!
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Old 14th Jul 2012, 00:36
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Hmmmm, this makes an intersting read. Especially the bit where they talk about the US implementing their increase in minimum standards next year (par 8).


http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-07-13/safety-concerns-raised-by-possible-pilot-shortage
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Old 14th Jul 2012, 01:42
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Shortages only occur at a given price, these paragraphs from your linked article encapsulate the issue:

"The cost of getting into flying is very expensive," Davis said. "When I talk to college students, if they're coming out of a four-year collegiate (aviation) program, most of them are $150,000 to $160,000 in debt. And that only gives them the qualifications to go be a flight instructor. If you're making $20,000 a year as a flight instructor you're lucky."
and this:
If U.S. airlines start hiring pilots in large numbers, he said, pilots now flying for foreign carriers will likely return home. There are currently about 90,000 airline pilots in the U.S. and Canada.
The regional's pay about the same as the instructor, see Michael Moore: Michael Moore: Do You Want Airline Pilots to Be Working Two Jobs?

There is also the PBS story on the life of a regional pilot: Flying Cheap.

If pay and conditions improved, this wouldn't even be an issue, high quality people would train as pilots. There is no shortage, there is only a shortage at the price the companies are prepared to pay. Any shortage is entirely of an the airlines own making.

Last edited by TheWholeEnchilada; 14th Jul 2012 at 01:44.
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Old 15th Jul 2012, 03:04
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If pay and conditions improved, this wouldn't even be an issue, high quality people would train as pilots. There is no shortage, there is only a shortage at the price the companies are prepared to pay. Any shortage is entirely of an the airlines own making
I tend to agree with the above however airlines don't really pay any wages! Wages are paid by the passengers and freight owners and the airline has to guess at what the market will stand to cover all expenses and, let's face it, every person has a different perception of this.

Airlines just pass some of the money on as wages after raking off a good amount (some say too much) to cover those expensive executives, new aircraft and other expenses including shareholders dividend.

I see the trouble as airlines and unions not being honest with each other regarding profits and what airlines can afford to pay and what staff really want.
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Old 15th Jul 2012, 03:54
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I couldn't help noticing the similarities between us and the pearling industry. Big money, lowering pay and conditions, inexperience, over stretched training resources, unmanged threats........the list goes on.

The Price of Pearl - Four Corners

Bloody tragic
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Old 25th Jul 2012, 01:41
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Angry Potential Breach of Privilege

Folks,

It was interesting to note in the thread http://www.pprune.org/dg-p-reporting...tstar-fwa.html that the person alleging unfair dismissal is one of the Jetstar cabin crew who gave evidence to the Inquiry on 04 Nov 11.

I wonder if this will make it to the Senate Privileges Committee?

Stay Alive,

Last edited by 4dogs; 25th Jul 2012 at 01:42.
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Old 25th Jul 2012, 01:55
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That was my point in flagging it, but it will depend on the reasons for the termination and whether they are directly linked back to the fact that testimony was given and therein lies the problem.

It is early days and as long as some are watching the events unfold then this is the least that can be done as a show of support until the reasons are clear.

Some would also be mindful of the form shown by the star in the past in regard to their ability to adopt flexible and creative positions on the law and parliament.
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Old 30th Jul 2012, 07:14
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See Ben provides another very good summation on the state of play, this time in relation to VA and Skywest's proposed cadet scheme:

Virgin cadets to fill (it hopes) a pilot shortage | Plane Talking

By the way is there any word on Senator X and his push to reopen the Inquiry to review the AF447 final report?

See here: AF447 report pledge must be honoured says Xenophon | Plane Talking
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Old 31st Jul 2012, 10:42
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TICK TOCK

By the way is there any word on Senator X and his push to reopen the Inquiry to review the AF447 final report?
Not if CASA, the Minister and the upper level of trough dwellers in Team Carbon Queen have it there way.
Where's that broom and where is some carpet???

Nick, keep fighting the fight. They may be able to clip your wings but at least when the first charred bodies are pulled from a burning pit you can rest well at night knowing that you tried. You're a damn champion. Too decent for Politics

TICK TOCK
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Old 28th Aug 2012, 22:43
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Interesting

Interesting bit of adhoc information I came across.
Rio-Paris airbus crash 'might have been prevented' if pilots had been
briefed on previous incident
John Lichfield

Paris
Tuesday 17 July 2012

A French investigating judge is examining evidence that the Rio-Paris
airbus crash might have been prevented if the pilots had been briefed on a
terrifying incident the previous year.
According to an online update (http://www.airfrance447crash.com/)
to a book on the crash, which will appear in print shortly, Air France and
Airbus failed to notify pilots about a crisis aboard a Paris to Madagascar
flight on 16 August 2008 that bore striking resemblances to the chain of
calamities which befell flight AF447 over the south Atlantic nine months later.



An American writer and aviation expert, Roger Rapoport, says the
events aboard the Air France Madagascar flight – and the successful action taken
by its pilot to prevent a crash – are now central to the Rio-Paris manslaughter
investigation which is being conducted by a French judge, Sylvie Zimmerman.
Mr Rapoport says an independent study by aviation experts sent to the
judge last week took a much tougher line on the possible criminal
responsibilities of Airbus and Air France than the inconclusive final report of
the French air accident investigation bureau, the BEA, the previous week. His
book reveals that the experts’ criticism is based partly on events aboard an
Airbus 340, AF flight 373, from Paris to Tananarive in Madagascar in August
2008.
The pilot of the Madgasacar flight lost reliable indication of his
airspeed because the recorders, or pitot tubes, had iced up. Amid heavy
turbulence he descended to 4,000 feet, turning off the instructions from the
aircraft’s computerised guidance system or ‘flight director’.

Much the same circumstances led to the crash of AF 447 in the south
Atlantic on 1 June 2009, which killed 228 passengers and crew. In that case,
however, the crew lifted the plane’s nose and made a series of other calamitous
misjudgements which led the aircraft to plunge into the ocean.
The BEA report suggested the crash was caused by a mixture of systems’
failure and pilot error. It did suggest, however, that the pilots may have been
led into error by the computerised fight director.
Air France and Airbus were placed under formal investigation for
manslaughter in March last year. Judge Zimmermann must decide whether to
recommend that criminal charges should be brought against either company or
both.
Mr Rapoport quotes a veteran French aviation expert as saying: “If Air
France and Airbus had done the right thing and notified Airbus pilots about the
specifics of this near disaster on the Madagascar bound flight, new emergency
procedures and better training certainly could have saved the lives of 228
passengers and crew…”
Jacques Rocca, a spokesman for Airbus, contacted by The Independent
today, dismissed these conclusions as “false… just plain wrong.”
He added: “To suggest that we failed to warn airlines or pilots that
flight directors are unreliable when the pitot tubes fail is absurd. All pilots
know this already.”
Mr Rapoport told the Independent: “The BEA report makes it clear that that 'the absence of any (pilot) training at high altitude in manual aeroplane handing’ and the failure of ‘feedback mechanisms’ made it impossible to apply the correct recovery
procedures. The Madagascar flight was a case-book example of how pilots should
react but the details were not circulated.”
A French lawyer who represents families of victims of the crash,
Maitre Stephane Busy, confirmed to The Independent today that the Madagascar incident formed part of the judicial inquiry. He said: “The problem is that putting the ‘flight director’ on ‘off’ is recommended but… there is no reminder on the instruments panel. Air France and Airbus knew that this could be a problem but they allowed their aircraft to continue to fly.”
Cedric Leurquin, an Air France spokesman, said the Madagascar flight
incident has been “normally analysed” and “concerned stakeholders were
informed”. He added: “For the rest… Air France…adheres faithfully to the BEA's
analyses published on July 5.”
Mr Rapoport’s book is an updated English language version of a book
published in French last year. It went online last night and will appear in a
print version shortly as “The Rio-Paris Crash; Air France 447”.



Last edited by gobbledock; 28th Aug 2012 at 22:46.
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Old 29th Aug 2012, 13:57
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He said: “The problem is that putting the ‘flight director’ on ‘off’ is recommended but… there is no reminder on the instruments panel.
If a "reminder" is needed to the pilots of such a simple process, then how about "reminders" for the myriad of other knobs, switches, levers on a modern flight deck. The problem here is that non-aviation savvy judges then think the lawyer is right and makes solemn judgements based on bulls#@t.

Huge law suits then result.
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